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THE COURTSHIP OF 
MILES STANDISH 



TERCENTENARY EDITION 




THE COURTSHIP OF 
MILES STANDISH 

BY 
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW 

With an Introduction by 
ERNEST W. LONGFELLOW 

And with pictures by 
N. G. WYETH 




Boston and New York 
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 

(Cfte fiitecsiitJe pees? Cambriboe 
1920 



COPTSIGHT, I^C, BT HOUGHTON MIPFLIK COMPAXT 
AI_L BJGHTS RESERVED 



CAMHirrOGE . MAiiA^HVSSTTS 
U . S . A 



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^CONTENTS 




Introduction 
I. Miles Standish 
II. Love and Friendship 

III. The Lover's Errand 

IV. John Alden 

V. The Sailing of the Mayflov^er 
VI. Priscilla 

VII. The March of Miles Standish 
VIII. The Spinning-Wheel 
IX. The Wedding-Day 



XI 

3 

15 

29 

49 

69 

89 

103 

119 

135 




Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed 
on the landscape 10 

So through the Plymouth woods John Alden went 
on his errand 34 

Said, in a tremulous voice, **Why don't you speak 
for yourself, John? " 48 

Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude 
stern and defiant 64 

Eager, with tearful eyes, to say farewell to the May- 
flower, 

Homeward bound o'er the sea, and leaving them 
here in the desert 76 

ix 



LIST OF PICTURES 
So the maiden went on, and little divined or im- 
agined 
What was at work in his heart, that made him so 
awkward and speechless 98 

Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and, snatching 
his knife from its scabbard 114 

So through the Plymouth woods passed onward 
the bridal procession 146 

The title-page device is Miles Standish's coat of arms 




INTRODUCTION 

I AM very glad, as a direct descendant of Priscilla 
and John Alden, to welcome this new and beau- 
tiful edition of '' The Courtship of Miles Stan- 
dish/' especially timely in this tercentenary year 
of the Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. 

Mr. Wyeth's illustrations seem to me — and I doubt 
not that they would have seemed to my father — ad- 
mirable all through in their richness of color and their 
unconventional treatment, coupled with their many 
evidences of the closest study of the period. 

One has but to look at such a picture as the Sailing 
Away of the Mayflower, with the Pilgrims gathered on 

xi 



INTRODUCTION 

the shore, to feel the sinking of heart of the adventurers 
as the last link connecting them with the land of their 
birth faded in the distance. 

Whether Mr. Wyeth's conception of Priscilla as a 
piquant girl of French descent, with black hair and 
sparkling eyes, coincided with the demure Puritan 
maiden that was in my father's mind, I cannot say. 
On the historic grounds of her French-Huguenot an- 
cestry, however, Mr. Wyeth is entitled to his concep- 
tion, and no one can dispute the attractiveness of 
his Priscilla. 

It is a great pleasure to me to see this poem, which 
has become a household word in America, and which 
has always been a favorite of mine, in this new dress. 

Ernest W. Longfellow 

July, 1920 




FROPIRTYOFTil 
QTY or MSW YORJt 
THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 



MILES STAiNDISH 




N the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of 
the Pilgrims, 

To and fro in a room of his simple and primi- 
tive dwelling, 

3 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan 
leather, 

Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan 
Captain. 

Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind 
him, and pausing 

Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of war- 
fare, 

Hanging in shining array along the walls of the cham- 
ber, — 

Cutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of 
Damascus, 

Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical 
Arabic sentence. 

While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, 
musket, and matchlock. 

Short of stature he was, but strongly built and ath- 
letic, 

4 



MILES STANDISH 

Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles 
and sinews of iron ; 

Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was 
already 

Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in 
November. 

Near him was seated John Alden, his friend and house- 
hold companion. 

Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the 
window ; 

Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon com- 
plexion. 

Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty thereof, as 
the captives 

Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, " Not Angles, 
but Angels." 

Youngest of all was he of the men who came in the 
Mayflower. 

5 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent scribe 
interrupting, 

Spake, in the pride of his heart. Miles Standish the 
Captain of Plymouth. 

" Look at these arms," he said, *' the warlike weapons 
that hang here 

Burnished and bright and clean, as if for parade or 
inspection ! 

This is the sword of Damascus I fought with in Flan- 
ders; this breastplate. 

Well I remember the day ! once saved my life in a skir- 
mish ; 

Here in front you can see the very dint of the bullet 

Fired point-blank at my heart by a Spanish arcabucero. 

Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten bones of 
Miles Standish 

Would at this moment be mould, in their grave in the 
Flemish morasses." 

6 



MILES STANDISH 

Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked not up 

from his writing : 
" Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened the speed 

of the bullet ; 
He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield and our 

weapon! " 
Still the Captain continued, unheeding the words of 

the stripling: 
*' See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal 

hanging; 
That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to 

others. 
Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent 

adage ; 
So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your 

ink-horn. 
Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible 

army, 

7 



^ THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his 
matchlock, 

Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pil- 
lage, 

And, like Caesar, I know the name of each of my sol- 
diers!" 

This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as 
the sunbeams 

Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a 
moment. 

Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain con- 
tinued : 

** Look! you can see from this window my brazen how- 
itzer planted 

High on the roof of the church, a preacher who speaks 
to the purpose. 

Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible 
logic, 

8 



MILES STANDISH 

Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the hearts of 
the heathen. 

Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of the In- 
dians; 

Let them come, if they like, and the sooner they try it 
the better, — 

Let them come, if they like, be it sagamore, sachem, or 
pow-wow, 

Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or Tokamaha- 
mon! " 



Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on 

the landscape, 
Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the 

east- wind. 
Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue rim of 

the ocean, 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows and 
sunshine. 

Over his countenance flitted a shadow like those on the 
landscape, 

Gloom intermingled with light ; and his voice was sub- 
dued with emotion. 

Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he pro- 
ceeded : 

"Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose 
Standish ; 

Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the way- 
side ! 

She was the first to die of all who came in the May- 
flower ! 

Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have 
sown there. 

Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of our 
people, 

10 




by H. M Co. 



LONG AT THE WINDOW HE STOOD, AND WISTFULLY GAZED 
ON THE LANDSCAPE 



MILES STANDISH 

Lest they should count them and see how many al- 
ready had perished! " 

Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and down, and 
was thoughtful. 



Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and 
among them 

Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for 
binding; 

Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of 
Caesar 

Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of 
London, 

And, as if guarded by these, between them was stand- 
ing the Bible. 

Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused, 
as if doubtful 

11 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Which of the three he should choose for his consolation 
and comfort, 

Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous cam- 
paigns of the Romans, 

Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent 
Christians. 

Finally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderous 
Roman, 

Seated himself at the window, and opened the book, 
and in silence 

Turned o'er the well-worn leaves, where thumb-marks 
thick on the margin. 

Like the trample of feet, proclaimed the battle was 
hottest. 

Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of 
the stripling, 

Busily writing epistles important, to go by the May- 
flower, 

12 



MILES STANDISH 

Ready to sail on the morrow, or next day at latest, God 

willing! 
Homev/ard bound with the tidings of all that terrible 

winter. 
Letters written by Alden, and full of the name of 

Priscilla ! 
Full of the name and the fame of the Puritan maiden 

Priscilla ! 



II 

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 




II 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 



N^OTHING was heard in the room but the 
hurrying pen of the stripling, 
Or an occasional sigh from the laboring 
heart of the Captain, 
Reading the marvellous words and achievements of 
Julius Caesar. 

17 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

After a while he exclaimed, as he smote with his hand, I 

palm downwards. 
Heavily on the page: *' A wonderful man was this 

Caesar ! 
You are a writer, and I am a fighter, but here is a fellow 
Who could both write and fight, and in both was 

equally skilful!" 
Straightway answered and spake John Alden, the 

comely, the youthful : 
" Yes, he was equally skilled, as you say, with his pen 

and his weapons. 
Somewhere have I read, but where I forget, he could 

dictate 
Seven letters at once, at the same time writing his 

memoirs." 
" Truly," continued the Captain, not heeding or hear- 
ing the other, 
** Truly a wonderful man was Caius Julius Caesar! 

18 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

Better be first, he said, in a little Iberian village, 
Than be second in Rome, and I think he was right when 

he said it. 
Twice was he married before he was twenty, and many 

times after; 
Battles five hundred he fought, and a thousand cities 

he conquered ; 
He, too, fought in Flanders, as he himself has re- 
corded ; 
Finally he was stabbed by his friend, the orator Brutus! 
Now, do you know what he did on a certain occasion in 

Flanders, 
When the rear-guard of his army retreated, the front 

giving way too. 
And the immortal Twelfth Legion was crowded so 

closely together 
There was no room for their swords? Why, he seized a 

shield from a soldier, 

19 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Put himself straight at the head of his troops, and com- 
manded the captains, 

Calling on each by his name, to order forward the en- 
signs ; 

Then to widen the ranks, and give more room for their 
weapons; 

So he won the day, the battle of something-or-other. 

That 's what I always say; if you wish a thing to be well 
done. 

You must do it yourself, you must not leave it to 
others! " 

All was silent again; the Captain continued his read- 
ing. 
Nothing was heard in the room but the hurrying pen of 

the stripling 
Writing epistles important to go next day by the May- 
flower, 

20 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

Filled with the name and the fame of the Puritan 
maiden Priscilla; 

Every sentence began or closed with the name of 
Priscilla, 

Till the treacherous pen, to which he confided the 
secret, 

Strove to betray it by singing and shouting the name of 
Priscilla ! 

Finally closing his book, with a bang of the ponderous 
cover. 

Sudden and loud as the sound of a soldier grounding his 
musket. 

Thus to the young man spake Miles Standish the Cap- 
tain of Plymouth: 

" When you have finished your work, I have something 
important to tell you. 

Be not however in haste; I can wait; I shall not be im- 
patient! " 

21 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Straightway Aid en replied, as he folded the last of his 
letters, 

Pushing his papers aside, and giving respectful atten- 
tion : 

** Speak; for whenever you speak, I am always ready to 
listen. 

Always ready to hear whatever pertains to Miles Stand- 
ish/' 

Thereupon answered the Captain, embarrassed, and 
culling his phrases : 

** 'T is not good for a man to be alone, say the Scrip- 
tures. 

This I have said before, and again and again I repeat it ; 

Every hour in the day, I think it, and feel it, and say it. 

Since Rose Standish died, my life has been weary and 
dreary; 

Sick at heart have I been, beyond the healing of friend- 
ship ; 

22 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

Oft in my lonely hours have I thought of the maiden 

Priscilla. 
She is alone in the world ; her father and mother and 

brother 
Died in the winter together ; I saw her going and com- 
ing, 
Now to the grave of the dead, and now to the bed of the 

dying, 
Patient, courageous, and strong, and said to myself, 

that if ever 
There were angels on earth, as there are angels in 

heaven, 
Two have I seen and known ; and the angel whose name 

is Priscilla 
Holds in my desolate life the place which the other 

abandoned. 
Long have I cherished the thought, but never have 

dared to reveal it, 

23 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Being a coward in this, though valiant enough for the 

most part. 
Go to the damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden of 

Plymouth, 
Say that a blunt old Captain, a man not of words but 

of actions, 
Offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a 

soldier. 
Not in these words, you know, but this in short is my 

meaning ; 
I am a maker of war, and not a maker of phrases. 
You, who are bred as a scholar, can say it in elegant 

language. 
Such as you read in your books of the pleadings and 

wooings of lovers. 
Such as you think best adapted to win the heart of a 

maiden." 



24 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

When he had spoken, John Alden, the fair-haired, 

taciturn stripling, 
All aghast at his words, surprised, embarrassed, be- 
wildered. 
Trying to mask his dismay by treating the subject with 

lightness. 
Trying to smile, and yet feeling his heart stand still in 

his bosom, 
Just as a timepiece stops in a house that is stricken by 

lightning, 
Thus made answer and spake, or rather stammered 

than answered : 
** Such a message as that, I am sure I should mangle 

and mar it ; 
If you would have it well done, — I am only repeating 

your maxim, — 
You must do it yourself, you must not leave it to 

others! " 

25 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

But with the air of a man whom nothing can turn from 

his purpose, 
Gravely shaking his head, made answer the Captain of 

Plymouth : 
" Truly the maxim is good, and I do not mean to gain- 
say it; 
But we must use it discreetly, and not waste powder for 

nothing. 
Now, as I said before, I was never a maker of 

phrases. 
I can march up to a fortress and summon the place to 

surrender, 
But march up to a woman with such a proposal, I dare 

not. 
I 'm not afraid of bullets, nor shot from the mouth of 

a cannon. 
But of a thundering * No! ' point-blank from the mouth 

of a woman, 

26 



LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP 

That I confess I 'm afraid of, nor am I ashamed to con- 
fess it! 

So you must grant my request, for you are an elegant 
scholar, 

Having the graces of speech, and skill in the turning of 
phrases." 

Taking the hand of his friend, who still was reluctant 
and doubtful, 

Holding it long in his own, and pressing it kindly, he 
added : 

" Though I have spoken thus lightly, yet deep is the 
feeling that prompts me; 

Surely you cannot refuse what I ask in the name of our 
friendship! " 

Then made answer John Alden: ** The name of friend- 
ship is sacred ; 

What you demand in that name, I have not the power 
to deny you!" 

27 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

So the strong will prevailed, subduing and moulding 

the gentler, 
Friendship prevailed over love, and Alden went on his 

errand. 



Ill 

THE LOVER'S ERRAND 




Ill 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 



SO the strong will prevailed, and Alden went on 
his errand, 
i Out of the street of the village, and into the 
paths of the forest. 
Into the tranquil woods, where bluebirds and robins 
were building 

31 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Towns in the populous trees, with hanging gardens of 
verdure, 

Peaceful aerial cities of joy and affection and freedom. 

All around him was calm, but within him commotion 
and conflict, 

Love contending with friendship, and self with each 
generous impulse. 

To and fro in his breast his thoughts were heaving and 
dashing, 

As in a foundering ship, with every roll of the vessel. 

Washes the bitter sea, the merciless surge of the 
ocean! 

** Must I relinquish it all," he cried with a wild lamen- 
tation, — 

" Must I relinquish it all, the joy, the hope, the 
illusion? 

Was it for this I have loved, and waited, and wor- 
shipped in silence? 

32 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Was it for this I have followed the flying feet and the 
shadow 

Over the wintry sea, to the desolate shores of New Eng- 
land? 

Truly the heart is deceitful, and out of its depths of 
corruption 

Rise, like an exhalation, the misty phantoms of pas- 
sion; 

Angels of light they seem, but are only delusions of 
Satan. 

All is clear to me now; I feel it, I see it distinctly! 

This is the hand of the Lord ; it is laid upon me in anger. 

For I have followed too much the heart's desires and 
devices. 

Worshipping Astaroth blindly, and impious idols of 
Baal. 

This is the cross I must bear; the sin and the swift retri- 
bution." 

33 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

So through the Plymouth woods John Alden went on 

his errand ; 
Crossing the brook at the ford, where it brawled over 

pebble and shallow, 
Gathering still, as he went, the May-flowers blooming 

around him, 
Fragrant, filling the air with a strange and wonderful 

sweetness. 
Children lost in the woods, and covered with leaves in 

their slumber. 
** Puritan flowers," he said, " and the type of Puritan 

maidens. 
Modest and simple and sweet, the very type of Pris- 

cilla! 
So I will take them to her ; to Priscilla the Mayflower of 

Plymouth, 
Modest and simple and sweet, as a parting gift will I 

take them; 

34 






by H. M. Co. 



SO THROUGH THE PLYMOUTH WOODS JOHN ALDEN 
WENT ON HIS ERRAND 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Breathing their silent farewells, as they fade and wither 

and perish, 
Soon to be thrown away as is the heart of the giver." 
So through the Plymouth woods John Alden went on 

his errand ; 
Came to an open space, and saw the disk of the ocean, 
Sailless, sombre and cold with the comfortless breath 

of the east-wind ; 
Saw the new-built house, and people at work in a 

meadow ; 
Heard, as he drew near the door, the musical voice of 

Priscilla 
Singing the hundredth Psalm, the grand old Puritan^ 

anthem. 
Music that Luther sang to the sacred words of the 

Psalmist, 
Full of the breath of the Lord, consoling and comfort- 
ing many. 

35 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Then, as he opened the door, he beheld the form of the 
maiden 

Seated beside her wheel, and the carded wool like a 
snow-drift 

Piled at her knee, her white hands feeding the raven- 
ous spindle, 

While with her foot on the treadle she guided the wheel 
in its motion. 

Open wide on her lap lay the well-worn psalm-book of 
Ains worth. 

Printed in Amsterdam, the words and the music to- 
gether. 

Rough-hewn, angular notes, like stones in the wall of a 
churchyard. 

Darkened and overhung by the running vine of the 
verses. 

Such was the book from whose pages she sang the old 
Puritan anthem, 

36 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

She, the Puritan girl, in the solitude of the forest, 
Making the humble house and the modest apparel of 

homespun 
Beautiful with her beauty, and rich with the wealth of 

her being! 
Over him rushed, like a wind that is keen and cold and 

relentless. 
Thoughts of what might have been, and the weight 

and woe of his errand ; 
All the dreams that had faded, and all the hopes that 

had vanished, 
All his life henceforth a dreary and tenantless mansion, 
Haunted by vain regrets, and pallid, sorrowful faces. 
Still he said to himself, and almost fiercely he said it, 
*' Let not him that putteth his hand to the plough look 

backwards; 
Though the ploughshare cut through the flowers of life 

to its fountains, 

37 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Though it pass o'er the graves of the dead and the 
hearths of the Hving, 

It is the will of the Lord ; and his mercy endureth for- 
ever! " 



So he entered the house: and the hum of the wheel 

and the singing 
Suddenly ceased; for Priscilla, aroused by his step on 

the threshold, 
Rose as he entered, and gave him her hand, in signal of 

welcome. 
Saying, ** I knew it was you, when I heard your step 

in the passage; 
For I was thinking of you, as I sat there singing and 

spinning." 
Awkward and dumb with dehght, that a thought of 

him had been mingled 

38 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Thus in the sacred psalm, that came from the heart of 

the maiden, 
Silent before her he stood, and gave her the flowers for 

an answer. 
Finding no words for his thought. He remembered that 

day in the winter. 
After the first great snow, when he broke a path from 

the village. 
Reeling and plunging along through the drifts that en- 
cumbered the doorway. 
Stamping the snow from his feet as he entered the 

house, and Priscilla 
Laughed at his snowy locks, and gave him a seat by the 

fireside, 
Grateful and pleased to know he had thought of her in 

the snow-storm. 
Had he but spoken then! perhaps not in vain had he 

spoken ; 

39 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Now it was all too late; the golden moment had van- 
ished ! 

So he stood there abashed, and gave her the flowers for 
an answer. 

Then they sat down and talked of the birds and the 

beautiful Spring-time, 
Talked of their friends at home, and the Mayflower that 

sailed on the morrow. 
" I have been thinking all day," said gently the Puritan 

maiden, 
" Dreaming all night, and thinking all day, of the 

hedge-rows of England, — 
They are in blossom now, and the country is all like a 

garden : 
Thinking of lanes and fields, and the song of the lark 

and the linnet. 
Seeing the village street, and familiar faces of neighbors 

40 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Going about as of old, and stopping to gossip to- 
gether, 

And, at the end of the street, the village church, with 
the ivy 

Climbing the old gray tower, and the quiet graves in the 
churchyard. 

Kind are the people I live with, and dear to me my reli- 
gion; 

Still my heart is so sad, that I wish myself back in Old 
England. 

You will say it is wrong, but I cannot help it: I almost 

Wish myself back in Old England, I feel so lonely and 
wretched." 

Thereupon answered the youth: *' Indeed I do not 
condemn you ; 
Stouter hearts than a woman's have quailed in this 
terrible winter. 

41 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Yours is tender and trusting, and needs a stronger to 
lean on; 

So I have come to you now, with an offer and proffer of 
marriage 

Made by a good man and true, Miles Standish the Cap- 
tain of Plymouth! " 

Thus he delivered his message, the dexterous writer 
of letters, — 

Did not embellish the theme, nor array it in beautiful 
phrases, 

But came straight to the point, and blurted it out like 
a school-boy; 

Even the Captain himself could hardly have said it more 
bluntly. 

Mute with amazement and sorrow, Priscilla the Puri- 
tan maiden 

Looked into Alden's face, her eyes dilated with wonder, 

42 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Feeling his words like a blow, that stunned her and 

rendered her speechless; 
Till at length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous 

silence: 
" If the great Captain of Plymouth is so very eager to 

wed me, 
Why does he not come himself, and take the trouble to 

woo me? 
If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the 

winning! " 
Then John Alden began explaining and smoothing the 

matter. 
Making it worse as he went, by saying the Captain was 

busy, — 
Had no time for such things — such things! the words 

grating harshly 
Fell on the ear of Friscilla; and swift as a flash she made 

answer : 

43 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

'* Has he no time for such things, as you call it, before 
he is married, 

Would he be likely to find it, or make it, after the wed- 
ding? 

That is the way with you men; you don't understand 
us, you cannot. 

When you have made up your minds, after thinking of 
this one and that one, 

Choosing, selecting, rejecting, comparing one with 
another. 

Then you make known your desire, with abrupt and 
sudden avowal. 

And are offended and hurt, and indignant perhaps, that 
a woman 

Does not respond at once to a love that she never sus- 
pected. 

Does not attain at a bound the height to which you 
have been climbing. 

44 



/ 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

This is not right nor just: for surely a woman's affec- 
tion 

Is not a thing to be asked for, and had for only the ask- 
ing. 

When one is truly in love, one not only says it, but shows 
it. 

Had he but waited awhile, had he only showed that he 
loved me, 

Even this Captain of yours — who knows? — at last 
might have won me, 

Old and rough as he is; but now it never can happen." 

Still John Alden went on, unheeding the words of 
Priscilla, 
Urging the suit of his friend, explaining, persuading, 

expanding; 
Spoke of his courage and skill, and of all his battles in 
Flanders, 

45 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

How with the people of God he had chosen to suffer 
affliction; 

How, in return for his zeal, they had made him Captain 
of Plymouth; 

He was a gentleman born, could trace his pedigree 
plainly 

Back to Hugh Standish of Duxbury Hall, in Lancashire, 
England, 

Who was the son of Ralph, and the grandson of Thurs- 
ton de Standish; 

Heir unto vast estates, of which he was basely de- 
frauded. 

Still bore the family arms, and had for his crest a cock 
argent. 

Combed and wattled gules, and all the rest of the 
blazon. 

He was a man of honor, of noble and generous na- 
ture; 

46 



THE LOVER'S ERRAND 

Though he was rough, he was kindly; she knew how 

during the winter 
He had attended the sick, with a hand as gentle as 

woman's; 
Somewhat hasty and hot, he could not deny it, and 

headstrong. 
Stern as a soldier might be, but hearty, and placable 

always. 
Not to be laughed at and scorned, because he was little 

of stature; 
For he was great of heart, magnanimous, courtly, cou- 
rageous ; 
Any woman in Plymouth, nay, any woman in England, 
Might be happy and proud to be called the wife of Miles 

Standish ! 

But as he warmed and glowed, in his simple and elo- 
quent language, 

47 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Quite forgetful of self, and full of the praise of his 

rival, 
Archly the maiden smiled, and, with eyes overrunning 

with laughter. 
Said, in a tremulous voice, ** Why don't you speak for 

yourself, John? " 




SAID IN A TREMULOUS VOICE, " WHY DON'T YOU SPEAK 
FOR YOURSELF, JOHN?" 



IV 
JOHN ALDEN 




IV 



JOHN ALDEN 



INTO the open air John Alden, perplexed and be- 
wildered, 
Rushed like a man insane, and wandered alone 
by the sea-side; 
Paced up and down the sands, and bared his head to the 
east- wind, 

51 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Cooling his heated brow, and the fire and fever within 
him. 

Slowly as out of the heavens, with apocalyptical splen- 
dors. 

Sank the City of God, in the vision of John the 
Apostle, 

So, with its cloudy walls of chrysolite, jasper, and sap- 
phire. 

Sank the broad red sun, and over its turrets uplifted 

Glimmered the golden reed of the angel who measured 
the city. 

" Welcome, O wind of the East! " he exclaimed in his 
wild exultation, 
** Welcome, O wind of the East, from the caves of the 

misty Atlantic! 
Blowing o'er fields of dulse, and measureless meadows 
of sea-grass, 

52 



JOHN ALDEN 

Blowing o'er rocky wastes, and the grottoes and gardens 

of ocean ! 
Lay thy cold, moist hand on my burning forehead, and 

wrap me 
Close in thy garments of mist, to allay the fever within 

me!" 



Like an awakened conscience, the sea was moaning 
and tossing, 

Beating remorseful and loud the mutable sands of the 
sea -shore. 

Fierce in his soul was the struggle and tumult of pas- 
sions contending; 

Love triumphant and crowned, and friendship wounded 
and bleeding. 

Passionate cries of desire, and importunate pleadings 
of duty ! 

53 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

" Is it my fault," he said, ** that the maiden has chosen 

between us? 
Is it my fault that he failed, — my fault that I am the 

victor? " 
Then within him there thundered a voice, like the 

voice of the Prophet: 
** It hath displeased the Lord! " — and he thought of 

David's transgression, 
Bathsheba's beautiful face, and his friend in the front 

of the battle! 
Shame and confusion of guilt, and abasement and self- 
condemnation. 
Overwhelmed him at once ; and he cried in the deepest 

contrition : 
** It hath displeased the Lord! It is the temptation of 

Satan! " 



54 



JOHN ALDEN 

Then, uplifting his head, he looked at the sea, and 
beheld there 

Dimly the shadowy form of the Mayflower riding at 
anchor, 

Rocked on the rising tide, and ready to sail on the mor- 
row; 

Heard the voices of men through the mist, the rattle of 
cordage 

Thrown on the deck, the shouts of the mate, and the 
sailors' " Ay, ay. Sir! " 

Clear and distinct, but not loud, in the dripping air of 
the twilight. 

Still for a moment he stood, and listened, and stared at 
the vessel. 

Then went hurriedly on, as one who, seeing a phan- 
tom. 

Stops, then quickens his pace, and follows the beckon- 
ing shadow. 

55 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

" Yes, it is plain to me now," he murmured ; '' the hand 

of the Lord is 
Leading me out of the land of darkness, the bondage of 

error. 
Through the sea, that shall lift the walls of its waters 

around me, 
Hiding me, cutting me off, from the cruel thoughts that 

pursue me. 
Back will I go o'er the ocean, this dreary land will 

abandon, 
Her whom I may not love, and him whom my heart has 

offended. 
Better to be in my grave in the green old churchyard in 

England, 
Close by my mother's side, and among the dust of my 

kindred ; 
Better be dead and forgotten, than living in shame and 

dishonor; 

56 



JOHN ALDEN 

Sacred and safe and unseen, in the dark of the narrow 
chamber 

With me my secret shall lie, like a buried jewel that 
glimmers 

Bright on the hand that is dust, in the chambers of 
silence and darkness, — 

Yes, as the marriage ring of the great espousal here- 
after! " 

Thus as he spake, he turned, in the strength of his 
strong resolution. 

Leaving behind him the shore, and hurried along in the 
twilight. 

Through the congenial gloom of the forest silent and 
sombre. 

Till he beheld the lights in the seven houses of Plym- 
outh, 

57 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Shining like seven stars in the dusk and mist of the eve- 
ning. 

Soon he entered his door, and found the redoubtable 
Captain 

Sitting alone, and absorbed in the martial pages of 
Caesar, 

Fighting some great campaign in Hainault or Brabant 
or Flanders. 

** Long have you been on your errand," he said w^ith 
a cheery demeanor. 

Even as one who is waiting an answer, and fears not the 
issue. 

** Not far off is the house, although the woods are be- 
tween us; 

But you have lingered so long, that while you were 
going and coming 

I have fought ten battles and sacked and demolished a 
city. 

58 



JOHN ALDEN 

Come, sit down, and in order relate to me all that has 
happened." 

Then John Alden spake, and related the wondrous 

adventure. 
From beginning to end, minutely, just as it happened; 
How he had seen Priscilla, and how he had sped in his 

courtship, 
Only smoothing a little, and softening down her re- 
fusal. 
But when he came at length to the words Priscilla had 

spoken. 
Words so tender and cruel: " Why don't you speak for 

yourself, John? " 
Up leaped the Captain of Plymouth, and stamped on 

the floor, till his armor 
Clanged on the wall, where it hung, with a sound of 

sinister omen. 

59 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

All his pent-up wrath burst forth in a sudden explo- 
sion, 

E'en as a hand-grenade, that scatters destruction 
around it. 

Wildly he shouted, and loud: " John Alden! you have 
betrayed me! 

Me, Miles Standish, your friend! have supplanted, de- 
frauded, betrayed me! 

One of my ancestors ran his sword through the heart of 
Wat Tyler; 

Who shall prevent me from running my own through 
the heart of a traitor? 

Yours is the greater treason, for yours is a treason to 
friendship ! 

You, who lived under my roof, whom I cherished and 
loved as a brother; 

You, who have fed at my board, and drunk at my cup, 
to whose keeping 

60 



JOHN ALDEN 

I have intrusted my honor, my thoughts the most 
sacred and secret, — 

You too, Brutus! ah woe to the name of friendship 
hereafter! 

Brutus was Caesar's friend, and you were mine, but 
henceforward 

Let there be nothing between us save war, and impla- 
cable hatred! " 



So spake the Captain of Plymouth, and strode about 
in the chamber. 

Chafing and choking with rage; like cords were the 
veins on his temples. 

But in the midst of his anger a man appeared at the 
doorway. 

Bringing in uttermost haste a message of urgent im- 
portance, ' 

61 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Rumors of danger and war and hostile incursions of 
Indians! 

Straightway the Captain paused, and, without further 
question or parley. 

Took from the nail on the wall his sword with its scab- 
bard of iron. 

Buckled the belt round his waist, and, frowning fiercely, 
departed. 

Alden was left alone. He heard the clank of the scab- 
bard 

Growing fainter and fainter, and dying away in the dis- 
tance. 

Then he arose from his seat, and looked forth into the 
darkness. 

Felt the cool air blow on his cheek, that was hot with 
the insult. 

Lifted his eyes to the heavens, and, folding his hands 
as in childhood, 

62 



JOHN ALDEN 

Prayed in the silence of night to the Father who seeth 
in secret. 



Meanwhile the choleric Captain strode wrathful 
away to the council, 

Found it already assembled, impatiently waiting his 
coming; 

Men in the middle of life, austere and grave in deport- 
ment, 

Only one of them old, the hill that was nearest to 
heaven. 

Covered with snow, but erect, the excellent Elder of 
Plymouth. 

God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for 
this planting, 

Then had sifted the wheat, as the living seed of a na- 
tion; 

63 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

So say the chronicles old, and such is the faith of the 

people ! 
Near them was standing an Indian, in attitude stern 

and defiant, 
Naked down to the waist, and grim and ferocious in 

aspect; 
While on the table before them was lying unopened 

a Bible, 
Ponderous, bound in leather, brass-studded, printed in 

Holland, 
And beside it outstretched the skin of a rattlesnake 

glittered. 
Filled, like a quiver, with arrows; a signal and challenge 

of warfare. 
Brought by the Indian, and speaking with arrowy 

tongue* of defiance. 
This Miles Standish beheld, as he entered, and heard 

them debating 

64 




NEAR THEM WAS STANDING AN INDIAN, IN ATTITUDE 
STERN AND DEFIANT 



JOHN ALDEN 

What were an answer befitting the hostile message and 

menace, 
Talking of this and of that, contriving, suggesting, 

objecting; 
One voice only for peace, and that the voice of the 

Elder, 
Judging it wise and well that some at least were con- 
verted. 
Rather than any were slain, for this was but Christian 

behavior ! 
Then out spake Miles Standish, the stalwart Captain of 

Plymouth, 
Muttering deep in his throat, for his voice was husky 

with anger, 
" What! do you mean to make war with milk and the 

water of roses ? 
Is it to shoot red squirrels you have your howitzer 

planted 

65 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

There on the roof of the church, or is it to shoot red 

devils? 
Truly the only tongue that is understood by a savage 
Must be the tongue of fire that speaks from the mouth 

of the cannon! " 
Thereupon answered and said the excellent Elder of 

Plymouth, 
Somewhat amazed and alarmed at this irreverent lan- 
guage; 
** Not so thought St. Paul, nor yet the other Apostles; 
Not from the cannon's mouth were the tongues of fire 

they spake with! " 
But unheeded fell this mild rebuke on the Captain, 
Who had advanced to the table, and thus continued 

discoursing: 
*' Leave this matter to me, for to me by right it per- 

taineth. 
War is a terrible trade ; but in the cause that is righteous, 

66 



JOHN ALDEN 

Sweet is the smell of powder; and thus I answer the 
challenge! " 

Then from the rattlesnake's skin, with a sudden, 

contemptuous gesture. 
Jerking the Indian arrows, he filled it with powder and 

bullets 
Full to the very jaws, and handed it back to the 

savage, 
Saying, in thundering tones: " Here, take it! this is. 

your answer! " 
Silently out of the room then glided the glistening 

savage. 
Bearing the serpent's skin, and seeming himself like 

a serpent. 
Winding his sinuous way in the dark to the depths of 

the forest. 



V 
THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 




THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 



JUST in the gray of the dawn, as the mists 
uprose from the meadows, 
There was a stir and a sound in the slumber- 
ing village of Plymouth ; 
Clanging and clicking of arms, and the order impera- 
tive, ** Forward! " 

71 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Given in tone suppressed, a tramp of feet, and then 
silence. 
, Figures ten, in the mist, marched slowly out of the 
village. 

Standish the stalwart it was, with eight of his valorous 
army. 

Led by their Indian guide, by Hobomok, friend of the 
white men. 

Northward marching to quell the sudden revolt of the 
savage. 

Giants they seemed in the mist, or the mighty men of 
King David ; 

Giants in heart they were, who believed in God and the 
Bible, — 

Ay, who believed in the smiting of Midianites and Phil- 
istines. 

Over them gleamed far off the crimson banners of morn- 
ing; 

72 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Under them loud on the sands, the serried billows, ad- 
vancing, 
Fired along the line, and in regular order retreated. 

Many a mile had they marched, when at length the 

village of Plymouth 
Woke from its sleep, and arose, intent on its manifold 

labors. 
Sweet was the air and soft ; and slowly the smoke from 

the chimneys 
Rose over roofs of thatch, and pointed steadily east- 
ward ; 
Men came forth from the doors, and paused and talked 

of the weather. 
Said that the wind had changed, and was blowing fair 

for the Mayflower; 
Talked of their Captain's departure, and all the dangers 

that menaced, 

73 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

He being gone, the town, and what should be done in 

his absence. 
Merrily sang the birds, and the tender voices of women 
Consecrated with hymns the common cares of the 

household. 
Out of the sea rose the sun, and the billows rejoiced at 

his coming; 
Beautiful were his feet on the purple tops of the moun- 
tains; 
Beautiful on the sails of the Mayflower riding at anchor. 
Battered and blackened and worn by all the storms of 

the winter. 
Loosely against her masts was hanging and flapping her 

canvas, 
Rent by so many gales, and patched by the hands of the 

sailors. 
Suddenly from her side, as the sun rose over the ocean, 
Darted a puff of smoke, and floated seaward; anon rang 

74 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Loud over field and forest the cannon's roar, and the 
echoes 

Heard and repeated the sound, the signal-gun of de- 
parture ! 

Ah? but with louder echoes replied the hearts of the 
people! 

Meekly, in voices subdued, the chapter was read from 
the Bible, 

Meekly the prayer was begun, but ended in fervent 
entreaty ! 

Then from their houses in haste came forth the Pil- 
grims of Plymouth, 

Men and women and children, all hurrying down to the 
sea-shore. 

Eager, with tearful eyes, to say farewell to the May- 
flower, 

Homeward bound o'er the sea, and leaving them here in 
the desert. 

75 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Foremost among them was Alden. All night he had 

lain without slumber, 
Turning and tossing about in the heat and unrest of his 

fever. 
He had beheld Miles Standish, who came back late 

from the council, 
Stalking into the room, and heard him mutter and 

murmur ; 
Sometimes it seemed a prayer, and sometimes it 

sounded like swearing. 
Once he had come to the bed, and stood there a moment 

in silence; 
Then he had turned away, and said: " I will not awake 

him; 
Let him sleep on, it is best; for what is the use of more 

talking! " 
Then he extinguished the light, and threw himself 

down on his pallet, 

76 




by H. M. Co. 

EAGER, WITH TEARI LL K'* IS, lO SA^ I AKI WILL TO THE MAYFLOWER, 

HOMEWARD BOUND OER THE SEA. AND LEAVING THEM 

HERE IN THE DESERT 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Dressed as he was, and ready to start at the break of the 
morning, — 

Covered himself with the cloak he had worn in his cam- 
paigns in Flanders, — 

Slept as a soldier sleeps in his bivouac, ready for 
action. 

But with the dawn he arose; in the twilight Alden be- 
held him 

Put on his corselet of steel, and all the rest of his 
armor, 

Buckle about his waist his trusty blade of Damas- 
cus, 

Take from the corner his musket, and so stride out of 
the chamber. 

Often the heart of the youth had burned and yearned 
to embrace him, 

Often his lips had essayed to speak, imploring for par- 
don; 

77 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

All the old friendship came back, with its tender and 

grateful emotions; 
But his pride overmastered the nobler nature within 

him, — 
Pride, and the sense of his wrong, and the burning fire 

of the insult. 
So he beheld his friend departing in anger, but spake 

not. 
Saw him go forth to danger, perhaps to death, and he 

spake not! 
Then he arose from his bed, and heard what the people 

were saying. 
Joined in the talk at the door, with Stephen and Rich- 
ard and Gilbert, 
Joined in the morning prayer, and in the reading of 

Scripture, 
And, with the others, in haste went hurrying down to 

the sea-shore, 

78 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been to their 

feet as a doorstep 
Into a world unknown, — the comer-stone of a nation! 

There with his boat was the Master, already a little 
impatient 

Lest he should lose the tide, or the wind might shift to 
the eastward. 

Square-built, hearty, and strong, with an odor of ocean 
about him. 

Speaking with this one and that, and cramming let- 
ters and parcels 

Into his pockets capacious, and messages mingled to- 
gether 

Into his narrow brain, till at last he was wholly bewil- 
dered. 

Nearer the boat stood Alden, with one foot placed on 
the gunwale, 

79 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STA.NDISH 

One still firm on the rock, and talking at times with the 
sailors, 

Seated erect on the thwarts, all ready and eager for 
starting. 

He too was eager to go, and thus put an end to his an- 
guish. 

Thinking to fly from despair, that swifter than keel is 
or canvas, 

Thinking to drown in the sea the ghost that would rise 
and pursue him. 

But as he gazed on the crowd, he beheld the form of 
Priscilla 

Standing dejected among them, unconscious of all that 
was passing. 

Fixed were her eyes upon his, as if she divined his in- 
tention. 

Fixed with a look so sad, so reproachful, imploring, and 
patient, 

80 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

That with a sudden revulsion his heart recoiled from its 

purpose, 
As from the verge of a crag, where one step more is 

destruction. 
Strange is the heart of man, with its quick, mysterious 

instincts! 
Strange is the life of man, and fatal or fated are mo- 
ments. 
Whereupon turn, as on hinges, the gates of the wall 

adamantine! 
** Here I remain! " he exclaimed, as he looked at the 

heavens above him. 
Thanking the Lord whose breath had scattered the mist 

and the madness, 
Wherein, blind and lost, to death he was staggering 

headlong. 
'* Yonder snow-white cloud, that floats in the ether 

above me, 

81 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Seems like a hand that is pointing and beckoning over 
the ocean. 

There is another hand, that is not so spectral and ghost- 
like, 

Holding me, drawing me back, and clasping mine for 
protection. 

Float, O hand of cloud, and vanish aw^ay in the ether! 

Roll thyself up like a fist, to threaten and daunt me; 
I heed not 

Either your v^arning or menace, or any omen of evil! 

There is no land so sacred, no air so pure and so w^hole- 
some. 

As is the air she breathes, and the soil that is pressed by 
her footsteps. 

Here for her sake v^ill I stay, and like an invisible pres- 
ence 

Hover around her forever, protecting, supporting her 
weakness ; 

82 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Yes! as my foot was the first that stepped on this rock 

at the landing, 
So, with the blessing of God, shall it be the last at the 

leaving! " 

Meanwhile the Master alert, but with dignified air 
and important. 

Scanning with watchful eye the tide and the wind and 
the weather, 

Walked about on the sands, and the people crowded 
around him ' 

Saying a few last words, and enforcing his careful re- 
membrance. 

Then, taking each by the hand, as if he were grasping 
a tiller. 

Into the boat he sprang, and in haste shoved off to his 
vessel. 

Glad in his heart to get rid of all this worry and flurry, 

83 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Glad to be gone from a land of sand and sickness and 
sorrow, 

Short allowance of victual, and plenty of nothing but 
Gospel! 

Lost in the sound of the oars was the last farewell of 
the Pilgrims. 

O strong hearts and true? not one went back in the May- 
flower! 

No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to this 
ploughing! 

Soon were heard on board the shouts and songs of the 
sailors 

Heaving the windlass round, and hoisting the ponder- 
ous anchor. 

Then the yards were braced, and all sails set to the 
west-wind, 

84 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Blowing steady and strong; and the Mayflower sailed 
from the harbor, 

Rounded the point of the Gurnet, and leaving far to the 
southward 

Island and cape of sand, and the Field of the First En- 
counter, 

Took the wind on her quarter, and stood for the open 
Atlantic, 

Borne on the send of the sea, and the swelling hearts of 
the Pilgrims. 

Long in silence they watched the receding sail of the 
vessel. 
Much endeared to them all, as something living and 

human ; 
Then, as if filled with the spirit, and wrapt in a vision 

prophetic. 
Baring his hoary head, the excellent Elder of Plymouth 

85 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Said, ** Let us pray! " and they prayed, and thanked 

the Lord and took courage. 
Mournfully sobbed the waves at the base of the rock, 

and above them 
Bowed and whispered the wheat on the hill of death, 

and their kindred 
Seemed to awake in their graves, and to join in the 

prayer that they uttered. 
Sun-illumined and white, on the eastern verge of the 

ocean 
Gleamed the departing sail, like a marble slab in a 

graveyard ; 
Buried beneath it lay forever all hope of escap- 
ing. 
Lo! as they turned to depart, they saw the form of an 

Indian, 
Watching them from the hill; but while they spake 

with each other, 

86 



THE SAILING OF THE MAYFLOWER 

Pointing with outstretched hands, and saying, 

** Look! " he had vanished. 
So they returned to their homes ; but Alden lingered 

a little, 
Musing alone on the shore, and watching the wash of 

the billows 
Round the base of the rock, and the sparkle and flash 

of the sunshine. 
Like the spirit of God, moving visibly over the waters. 



VI 
PRISCILLA 




VI 
PRISCILLA 

THUS for a while he stood, and mused by 
the shore of the ocean, 
Thinking of many things, and most of all 
of Priscilla; 
And as if thought had the power to draw to itself, like 
the loadstone, 

91 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Whatsoever it touches, by subtile laws of its nature, 
Lo! as he turned to depart, Priscilla was standing beside 
him. 

" Are you so much offended, you will not speak to 

me? '* said she. 
** Am I so much to blame, that yesterday, when you 

were pleading 
Warmly the cause of another, my heart, impulsive and 

wayward. 
Pleaded your own, and spake out, forgetful perhaps of 

decorum? 
Certainly you can forgive me for speaking so frankly, 

for saying 
What I ought not to have said, yet now I can never unsay 

it; 
For there are moments in life, when the heart is so full 
of emotion, 

92 



PRISCILLA 

That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like 

a pebble 
Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret. 
Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered 

together. 
Yesterday I was shocked, when I heard you speak of 

Miles Standish, 
Praising his virtues, transforming his very defects into 

virtues. 
Praising his courage and strength, and even his fighting 

in Flanders, 
As if by fighting alone you could win the heart of a 

woman. 
Quite overlooking yourself and the rest, in exalting your 

hero. 
Therefore I spake as I did, by an irresistible impulse. 
You will forgive me, I hope, for the sake of the friend- 
ship between us, 

93 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Which is too true and too sacred to be so easily broken ! " 
Thereupon answered John Alden, the scholar, the 

friend of Miles Standish : 
*' I was not angry with you, with myself alone I was 

angry. 
Seeing how badly I managed the matter I had in my 

keeping." 
*' No! " interrupted the maiden, with answer prompt 

and decisive; 
*' No; you were angry with me, for speaking so frankly 

and freely. 
It was wrong, I acknowledge ; for it is the fate of a woman 
Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that 

is speechless. 
Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its 

silence. 
Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women 
Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers 

94 



PRISCILLA 

Running through caverns of darkness, unheard, un- 
seen, and unfruitful. 

Chafing their channels of stone, with endless and profit- 
less murmurs." 

Thereupon answered John Alden, the young man, the 
lover of women : 

*' Heaven forbid it, Priscilla; and truly they seem to me 
always 

More like the beautiful rivers that watered the garden 
of Eden, 

More like the river Euphrates, through deserts of Havi- 
lah flowing. 

Filling the land with delight, and memories sweet of 
the garden! " 

*' Ah, by these words, I can see," again interrupted the 
maiden, 

*' How very little you prize me, or care for what I am 
saying. 

95 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

When from the depths of my heart, in pain and with 

secret misgiving, 
Frankly I speak to you, asking for sympathy only and 

kindness, 
Straightway you take up my words, that are plain and 

direct and in earnest, 
Tvirn them away from their meaning, and answer with 

flattering phrases. 
This is not right, is not just, is not true to the best that 

is in you ; 
For I know and esteem you, and feel that your nature is 

noble. 
Lifting mine up to a higher, a more ethereal 

level. 
Therefore I value your friendship, and feel it perhaps 

the more keenly 
If you say aught that implies I am only as one among 

many, 

96 



PRISGILLA 

If you make use of those common and complimentary 

phrases 
Most men think so fine, in dealing and speaking with 

women, 
But which women reject as insipid, if not as insulting." 

Mute and amazed was Alden ; and listened and looked 
at Priscilla, 

Thinking he never had seen her more fair, more divine 
in her beauty. 

He who but yesterday pleaded so glibly the cause of 
another, 

Stood there embarrassed and silent, and seeking in 
vain for an answer. 

So the maiden went on, and little divined or imag- 
ined 

What was at work in his heart, that made him so awk- 
ward and speechless. 

97 



Gt\<^?>'^\0 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

** Let us, then, be what we are, and speak what we 
think, and in all things 

Keep ourselves loyal to truth, and the sacred profes- 
sions of friendship. 

It is no secret I tell you, nor am I ashamed to de- 
clare it: 

I have liked to be with you, to see you, to speak with you 
always. 

So I was hurt at your words, and a little affronted to 
hear you 

Urge me to marry your friend, though he were the Cap- 
tain Miles Standish. 

For I must tell you the truth: much more to me is your 
friendship 

Than all the love he could give, were he twice the hero 
you think him.'' 

Then she extended her hand, and Alden, who eagerly 
grasped it, 

98 




so THE MAIDEN WENT ON, AND LITTLE DIVINED OR IMAGINED 

WHAT WAS AT WORK IN HIS HEART, THAT MADE HIM 

SO AWKWARD AND SPEECHLESS 



PRISCILLA 

Felt all the wounds in his heart, that were aching and 

bleeding so sorely, 
Healed by the touch of that hand, and he said, with a 

voice full of feeling : 
** Yes, we must ever be friends; and of all who offer you 

friendship 
Let me be ever the first, the truest, the nearest and 

dearest! '' 

Casting a farewell look at the glimmering sail of the 
Mayflower, 

Distant, but still in sight, and sinking below the horizon. 

Homeward together they walked, with a strange, in- 
definite feeling, 

That all the rest had departed and left them alone in 
the desert. 

But, as they went through the fields in the blessing and 
smile of the sunshine, 

99 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Lighter grew their hearts, and Priscilla said very 

archly : 
" Now that our terrible Captain has gone in pursuit of 

the Indians, 
Where he is happier far than he would be commanding 

a household. 
You may speak boldly, and tell me of all that happened 

between you, 
When you returned last night, and said how ungrateful 

you found me." 
Thereupon answered John Alden, and told her the whole 

of the story, — 
Told her his own despair, and the direful wrath of Miles 

Standish. 
Whereat the maiden smiled, and said between laughing 

and earnest, 
** He is a little chimney, and heated hot in a mo- 
ment! " 

100 



PRISCILLA 

But as he gently rebuked her, and told her how he had 
suffered, — 

How he had even determined to sail that day in the 
Mayflower, 

And had remained for her sake, on hearing the dangers 
that threatened, — 

All her manner was changed, and she said with a falter- 
ing accent, 

*' Truly I thank you for this: how good you have been 
to me always! '' 

Thus, as a pilgrim devout, who toward Jerusalem 
journeys. 
Taking three steps in advance, and one reluctantly 

backward. 
Urged by importunate zeal, and withheld by pangs of 

contrition ; 
Slowly but steadily onward, receding yet ever advancing, 

101 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Journeyed this Puritan youth to the Holy Land of his 

longings, 
Urged by the fervor of love and v^^ithheld by remorseful 

misgivings. 



VII 
THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 




VII 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 



EANWHILE the stalwart Miles Stand - 
ish was marching steadily north- 
ward, 
Winding through forest and swampy 
and along the trend of the sea-shore, 
All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his anger 

105 




THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Burning and crackling within, and the sulphurous 

odor of powder 
Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than all the scents 

of the forest. 
Silent and moody he went, and much he revolved his 

discomfort ; 
He who was used to success, and to easy victories 

always. 
Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to scorn by 

a maiden. 
Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend whom 

most he had trusted ! 
Ah! 't was too much to be borne, and he fretted and 

chafed in his armor! 



" I alone am to blame," he muttered, " for mine was 
the folly. 

106 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and gray in 
the harness, 

Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the wooing 
of maidens? 

'T was but a dream, — let it pass, — let it vanish like so 
many others! 

What I thought was a flower, is only a weed, and is 
worthless ; 

Out of my heart will I pluck it, and throw it away, and 
henceforward 

Be but a fighter of battles, a lover and wooer of dan- 
gers! " 

Thus he revolved in his mind his sorry defeat and dis- 
comfort. 

While he was marching by day or lying at night in the 
forest. 

Looking up at the trees, and the constellations beyond 
them. 

107 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

After a three days' inarch he came to an Indian 

encampment 
Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the sea and 

the forest; 
Women at work by the tents, and warriors, horrid with 

war-paint, 
Seated about a fire, and smoking and talking to- 
gether; 
Who, when they saw from afar the sudden approach of 

the white men, 
Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and sabre and 

musket. 
Straightway leaped to their feet, and two, from among 

them advancing, 
Came to parley with Standish, and offer him furs as a 

present ; 
Friendship was in their looks, but in their hearts there 

was hatred. 

108 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

Braves of the tribe were these, and brothers, gigantic in 

stature. 
Huge as Goliath of Gath, or the terrible Og, king of 

Bashan ; 
One was Pecksuot named, and the other was called 

Wattawamat. 
Round their necks were suspended their knives in scab- 
bards of wampum, 
Two-edged, trenchant knives, with points as sharp as 

a needle. 
Other arms had they none, for they were cunning and 

crafty. 
*' Welcome, English! " they said, — these words they 

had learned from the traders 
Touching at times on the coast, to barter and chaffer 

for peltries. 
Then in their native tongue they began to parley with 

Standish, 

109 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Through his guide and interpreter, Hobomok, friend 

of the white man, 
Begging for blankets and knives, but mostly for mus- 
kets and powder. 
Kept by the white man, they said, concealed, with the 

plague, in his cellars. 
Ready to be let loose, and destroy his brother the red 

man ! 
But when Standish refused, and said he would give 

them the Bible, 
Suddenly changing their tone, they began to boast and 

to bluster. 
Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in front of 

the other. 
And, with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly spake to 

the Captain: 
" Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiery eyes of the 

Captain, 

110 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

Angry is he in his heart; but the heart of the brave 
Wattawamat 

Is not afraid at the sight. He was not born of a 
woman, 

But on a mountain at night, from an oak-tree riven by 
lightning, 

Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weapons about 
him. 

Shouting, ' Who is there here to fight with the brave 
Wattawamat?'" 

Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the blade 
on his left hand. 

Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the han- 
dle; 

Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister mean- 
ing: 

*' I have another at home, with the face of a man on 
the handle; 

111 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

By and by they shall marry ; and there will be plenty of 
children! " 

Then stood Pecksuot forth, self -vaunting, insulting 

Miles Standish : 
While with his fingers he patted the knife that hung at 

his bosom, 
Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it back, 

as he muttered, 
'* By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha! but shall 

speak not! 
This is the mighty Captain the white men have sent to 

destroy us! 
He is a little man; let him go and work with the 

women!" 

Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and figures 
of Indians 

112 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree in the 

forest, 
Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on their bow- 
strings. 
Drawing about him still closer and closer the net of 

their ambush. 
But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and treated 

them smoothly; 
So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the days of 

the fathers. 
But when he heard their defiance, the boast, the taunt, 

and the insult, 
All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and of 

Thurston de Standish, 
Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in the veins of 

his temples. 
Headlong he leaped on the boaster, c^nd, snatching his 

knife from its scabbard, 

113 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling backward, the 

savage 
Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiend -like fierceness 

upon it. 
Straight there arose from the forest the awful sound of 

the war-whoop. 
And, like a flurry of snow on the whistling wind of 

December, 
Swift and sudden and keen came a flight of feathery 

arrows. 
Then came a cloud of smoke, and out of the cloud came 

the lightning. 
Out of the lightning thunder; and death unseen ran 

before it. 
Frightened the savages fled for shelter in swamp and in 

thicket. 
Hotly pursued an'i beset; but their sachem, the brave 

Wattawamat, 

114 





HEADLONG HF. LEAPED ON THE BOASTER, AND, SNATCHING 
HIS KNIFE FROM ITS SCABBARD 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

Fled not; he was dead. Unswerving and swift had a 

bullet 
Passed through his brain, and he fell with both hands 

clutching the greensward, 
Seeming in death to hold back from his foe the land of 

his fathers. 



There on the flowers of the meadow the warriors lay, 

and above them. 
Silent, with folded arms, stood Hobomok, friend of the 

white man. 
Smiling at length he exclaimed to the stalwart Captain 

of Plymouth : — 
" Pecksuot bragged very loud, of his courage, his 

strength, and his stature, — 
Mocked the great Captain, and called him a little man; 

but I see now 

115 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Big enough have you been to lay him speechless before 
you! " 



Thus the first battle was fought and won by the 

stalwart Miles Standish. 
When the tidings thereof were brought to the village 

of Plymouth, 
And as a trophy of war the head of the brave Watta- 

wamat 
Scowled from the roof of the fort, which at once was a 

church and a fortress. 
All who beheld it rejoiced, and praised the Lord, and 

took courage. 
Only Priscilla averted her face from this spectre of 

terror. 
Thanking God in her heart that she had not married 

Miles Standish; 

116 



THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH 

Shrinking, fearing almost, lest, coming home from his 
battles. 

He should lay claim to her hand, as the prize and re- 
ward of his valor. 



VIII 
THE SPINNING-WHEEL 




VIII 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 



MONTH after month passed away, and in 
Autumn the ships of the merchants 
Came with kindred and friends, with 
cattle and corn for the Pilgrims. 
All in the village was peace; the men were intent on 
their labors, 

121 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Busy with hewing and building, with garden-plot and 

with merestead, 
Busy with breaking the glebe, and mowing the grass 

in the meadows. 
Searching the sea for its fish, and hunting the deer in 

the forest. 
All in the village was peace ; but at times the rumor of 

warfare 
Filled the air with alarm, and the apprehension of 

danger. 
Bravely the stalwart Standish was scouring the land 

with his forces. 
Waxing valiant in fight and defeating the alien 

armies, 
Till his name had become a sound of fear to the na- 
tions. 
Anger was still in his heart, but at times the remorse 

and contrition 

122 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Which in all noble natures succeed the passionate out- 
break, 

Came like a rising tide, that encounters the rush of 
a river, 

Staying its current awhile, but making it bitter and 
brackish. 



Meanwhile Alden at home had built him a new habi- 
tation. 

Solid, substantial, of timber rough-hewn from the firs 
of the forest. 

Wooden-barred was the door, and the roof was covered 
with rushes; 

Latticed the windows were, and the window-panes were 
of paper. 

Oiled to admit the light, while wind and rain were 
excluded. 

123 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

There too he dug a well, and around it planted an 
orchard : 

Still may be seen to this day some trace of the well and 
the orchard. 

Close to the house was the stall, where, safe and secure 
from annoyance, 

Raghorn, the snow-white bull, that had fallen to 
Alden's allotment 

In the division of cattle, might ruminate in the night- 
time 

Over the pastures he cropped, made fragrant by sweet 
pennyroyal. 

Oft when his labor was finished, with eager feet would 
the dreamer 
Follow the pathway that ran through the woods to the 
house of Priscilla, 

124 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Led by illusions romantic and subtile deceptions of 

fancy, 
Pleasure disguised as duty, and love in the semblance 

of friendship. 
Ever of her he thought, when he fashioned the walls of 

his dwelling; 
Ever of her he thought, when he delved in the soil of his 

garden ; 
Ever of her he thought, when he read in his Bible on 

Sunday, 
Praise of the virtuous woman, as she is described in the 

Proverbs, — 
How the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her 

always. 
How all the days of her life she will do him good, and 

not evil. 
How she seeketh the wool and the flax and worketh 

with gladness, 

125 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

How she layeth her hand to the spindle and holdeth the 

distaff, 
How she is not afraid of the snow for herself or her 

household, 
Knowing her household are clothed with the scarlet 

cloth of her weaving ! 



So as she sat at her wheel one afternoon in the 
Autumn, 

Alden, who opposite sat, and was watching her dexter- 
ous fingers, 

As if the thread she was spinning were that of his life 
and his fortune. 

After a pause in their talk, thus spake to the sound of 
the spindle. 

** Truly, Priscilla," he said, " when I see you spinning 
and spinning, 

126 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Never idle a moment, but thrifty and thoughtful of 
others, 

Suddenly you are transformed, are visibly changed in 
a moment; 

You are no longer Priscilla, but Bertha the Beautiful 
Spinner." 

Here the light foot on the treadle grew swifter and 
swifter; the spindle 

Uttered an angry snarl, and the thread snapped short 
in her fingers ; 

While the impetuous speaker, not heeding the mis- 
chief, continued: 

*' You are the beautiful Bertha, the spinner, the queen 
of Helvetia; 

She whose story I read at a stall in the streets of South- 
ampton, 

Who, as she rode on her palfrey, o'er valley and meadow 
and mountain, 

127 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Ever was spinning her thread from a distaff fixed to her 

saddle. 
She was so thrifty and good, that her name passed into 

a proverb. 
So shall it be with your own, when the spinning-wheel 

shall no longer 
Hum in the house of the farmer, and fill its chambers 

with music. 
Then shall the mothers, reproving, relate how it was in 

their childhood, 
Praising the good old times, and the days of Priscilla 

the spinner! '' 
Straight uprose from her wheel the beautiful Puritan 

maiden, 
Pleased with the praise of her thrift from him whose 

praise was the sweetest. 
Drew from the reel on the table a snowy skein of her 

spinning, 

128 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Thus making answer, meanwhile, to the flattering 

phrases of Alden : 
'* Come, you must not be idle; if I am a pattern for 

housewives, 
Show yourself equally worthy of being the model of 

husbands. 
Hold this skein on your hands, while I wind it, ready 

for knitting; 
Then who knows but hereafter, when fashions have 

changed and the manners. 
Fathers may talk to their sons of the good old times of 

John Alden!" 
Thus, with a jest and a laugh, the skein on his hands 

she adjusted. 
He sitting awkwardly there, with his arms extended 

before him. 
She standing graceful, erect, and winding the thread 

from his fingers, 

129 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Sometimes chiding a little his clumsy manner of hold- 
ing, 

Sometimes touching his hands, as she disentangled 
expertly 

Twist or knot in the yarn, unawares — for how could 
she help it? — 

Sending electrical thrills through every nerve in his 
body. 



Lo! in the midst of this scene, a breathless messenger 

entered. 
Bringing in hurry and heat the terrible news from the 

village. 
Yes ; Miles Standish was dead ! — an Indian had brought 

them the tidings, — 
Slain by a poisoned arrow, shot down in the front of the 

battle, 

130 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

Into an ambush beguiled, cut off with the whole of his 

forces ; 
All the town would be burned, and all the people be 

murdered ! 
Such were the tidings of evil that burst on the hearts of 

the hearers. 
Silent and statue-like stood Priscilla, her face looking 

backward 
Still at the face of the speaker, her arms uplifted in 

horror ; 
But John Alden, upstarting, as if the barb of the 

arrow 
Piercing the heart of his friend had struck his own, and 

had sundered 
Once and forever the bonds that held him bound as a 

captive, 
Wild with excess of sensation, the awful delight of his 

freedom, 

131 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Mingled with pain and regret, unconscious of what he 

was doing, 
Clasped, almost with a groan, the motionless form of 

Priscilla, 
Pressing her close to his heart, as forever his own, and 

exclaiming : 
" Those whom the Lord hath united, let no man put 

them asunder! " 



Even as rivulets twain, from distant and separate 

sources. 
Seeing each other afar, as they leap from the rocks, and 

pursuing 
Each one its devious path, but drawing nearer and 

nearer, 
Rush together at last, at their trysting-place in the 

forest; 

132 



THE SPINNING-WHEEL 

So these lives that had run thus far in separate chan- 
nels, 

Coming in sight of each other, then swerving and flow- 
ing asunder. 

Parted by barriers strong, but drawing nearer and 
nearer, 

Rushed together at last, and one was lost in the other. 



IX 
THE WEDDING-DAY 




IX 



THE WEDDING-DAY 



FORTH from the curtain of clouds, from the 
tent of purple and scarlet, 
Issued the sun, the great High-Priest, in his 
garments resplendent. 
Holiness unto the Lord, in letters of light, on his fore- 
head, 

137 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Round the hem of his robe the golden bells and pome- 
granates. 

Blessing the world he came, and the bars of vapor 
beneath him 

Gleamed like a grate of brass, and the sea at his feet was 
a laver! 



This was the wedding morn of Priscilla the Puritan 
maiden. 

Friends were assembled together; the Elder and Magis- 
trate also 

Graced the scene with their presence, and stood like the 
Law and the Gospel, 

One with the sanction of earth and one with the bless- 
ing of heaven. 

Simple and brief was the wedding, as that of Ruth and 
of Boaz. 

138 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

Softly the youth and the maiden repeated the words of 
betrothal, 

Taking each other for husband and wife in the Magis- 
trate's presence, 

After the Puritan way, and the laudable custom of 
Holland. 

Fervently then, and devoutly, the excellent Elder of 
Plymouth 

Prayed for the hearth and the home, that were founded 
that day in affection, 

Speaking of life and of death, and imploring Divine 
benedictions. 

Lo! when the service was ended, a form appeared on 
the threshold. 
Clad in armor of steel, a sombre and sorrowful fig- 
ure! 

139 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Why does the bridegroom start and stare at the strange 

apparition ? 
Why does the bride turn pale, and hide her face on his 

shoulder? 
Is it a phantom of air, — a bodiless, spectral illu- 
sion ? 
Is it a ghost from the grave, that has come to forbid the 

betrothal ? 
Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, un- 

welcomed ; 
Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an 

expression 
Softening the gloom and revealing the vs^arm heart 

hidden beneath them. 
As when across the sky the driving rack of the rain- 

cloud ' 

Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by its 

brightness. 

140 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips, but was 
silent, 

As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting inten- 
tion. 

But when were ended the troth and the prayer and the 
last benediction, 

Into the room it strode, and the people beheld with 
amazement 

Bodily there in his armor Miles Standish, the Captain 
of Plymouth! 

Grasping the bridegroom's hand, he said with emo- 
tion, " Forgive me! 

I have been angry and hurt, — too long have I cherished 
the feeling ; 

I have been cruel and hard, but now, thank God! it is 
ended. 

Mine is the same hot blood that leaped in the veins of 
Hugh Standish, 

141 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for 
error. 

Never so much as now was Miles Standish the friend of 
John Alden." 

Thereupon answered the bridegroom: " Let all be for- 
gotten between us, — 

All save the dear old friendship, and that shall grow 
older and dearer! " 

Then the Captain advanced, and, bowing, saluted 
Priscilla, 

Gravely, and after the manner of old-fashioned gentry 
in England, 

Something of camp and of court, of town and of coun- 
try, commingled. 

Wishing her joy of her wedding, and loudly lauding 
her husband. 

Then he said with a smile : " I should have remembered 
the adage, — 

142 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

If you would be well served, you must serve yourself; 

and moreover, 
No man can gather cherries in Kent at the season of 

Christmas! " 

Great was the people's amazement, and greater yet 
their rejoicing. 

Thus to behold once more the sunburnt face of their 
Captain, 

Whom they had mourned as dead ; and they gathered 
and crowded about him, 

Eager to see him and hear him, forgetful of bride and 
of bridegroom, 

Questioning, answering, laughing, and each interrupt- 
ing the other. 

Till the good Captain declared, being quite over- 
powered and bewildered. 

He had rather by far break into an Indian encampment, 

143 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Than come again to a wedding to which he had not 
been invited. 

Meanwhile the bridegroom went forth and stood 

with the bride at the doorway, 
Breathing the perfumed air of that warm and beautiful 

morning. 
Touched with autumnal tints, but lonely and sad in 

the sunshine, 
Lay extended before them the land of toil and privation; 
There were the graves of the dead, and the barren waste 

of the sea-shore. 
There the familiar fields, the groves of pine, and the 

meadows ; 
But to their eyes transfigured, it seemed as the Garden 

of Eden, 
Filled with the presence of God, whose voice was the 

sound of the ocean. 

144 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

Soon was their vision disturbed by the noise and stir 

of departure, 
Friends coming forth from the house, and impatient of 

longer delaying. 
Each with his plan for the day, and the work that was 

left uncompleted. 
Then from a stall near at hand, amid exclamations of 

wonder, 
Alden the thoughtful, the careful, so happy, so proud 

of Priscilla, 
Brought out his snow-white bull, obeying the hand of 

its master. 
Led by a cord that was tied to an iron ring in its nos- 
trils. 
Covered with crimson cloth, and a cushion placed for 

a saddle. 
She should not walk, he said, through the dust and 

heat of the noonday; 

145 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Nay, she should ride like a queen, not plod along like 

a peasant. 
Somewhat alarmed at first, but reassured by the 

others. 
Placing her hand on the cushion, her foot in the hand 

of her husband, 
Gayly, with joyous laugh, Priscilla mounted her palfrey. 
" Nothing is wanting now," he said with a smile, ** but 

the distaff; 
Then you would be in truth my queen, my beautiful 

Bertha! " 

Onward the bridal procession now moved to their 
new habitation, 
Happy husband and wife, and friends conversing 

together. 
Pleasantly murmured the brook, as they crossed the 
ford in the forest, 

146 




so THROUGH THE PLYMOUTH WOODS PASSED ONWARD 
THE BRIDAL PROCESSION 



THE WEDDING-DAY 

Pleased with the image that passed, Hke adream of love, 

through its bosom. 
Tremulous, floating in air, o'er the depths of the azure 

abysses. 
Down through the golden leaves the suij was pouring 

his splendors. 
Gleaming on purple grapes, that, from branches above 

them suspended, 
Mingled their odorous breath with the balm of the pine 

and the fir-tree, 
Wild and sweet as the clusters that grew in the valley 

of Eshrol. 
Like a picture it seemed of the primitive, pastoral 

ages. 
Fresh with the youth of the world, and recalling 

Rebecca and Isaac, 
Old and yet ever new, and simple and beautiful al- 
ways, 

147 



THE COURTSHIP OF MILES STANDISH 

Love immortal and young in the endless succession of 

lovers. 
So through the Plymouth woods passed onward the 

bridal procession. 



THB NEW ^f "^^X^MBHT 



36 86